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The Millennial Market–Shaping the Future of New Construction

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 23, 2019 | Comments Off on The Millennial Market–Shaping the Future of New Construction

At Ernest Homes, we’re always keeping an eye on new trends in new construction. Our quest to provide the best new homes in the Savannah, GA area means we always keep our eye on the movers and shakers driving new home sales. And right now…they’re the Millennial generation.

Millennial buyers, those born from 1981 to 1997, are currently the largest segment of the population buying homes. With the largest birth year group of Millennials turning 29 this year, this powerful generation is poised to begin the “settle-down” years of their lives. With plans for marriage and children foremost in many of their minds, looking for a home is one of their main goals in the near future. 45% of mortgages this year will be financed for Millennials, versus 37% for Gen X-ers and 17% for the Baby Boomers. Millennials are likely to remain the focal point of real estate transactions for the next decade, as their housing needs change over time.

The word on the street is that Millennials are less interested in purchasing homes than previous generations, but recent studies indicate this is simply “fake news”. According to a recent survey by Fannie Mae done in 2014, most millennials consider owning a home more sensible in the long run than renting for financial and lifestyle reasons — including increased control of their living space, flexibility in future decisions and increased privacy and security. It seems that it’s the financial mechanics of buying a home, such as collecting a down payment, obtaining a mortgage and working within a sensible budget, are the major obstacles they’re facing.

So how does Ernest Homes make home ownership more feasible for Millennials?

Millennials are known for their need to conduct intense research before making buying decisions. A Millennial may consider forty pairs of black dress shoes before making a purchase, and choosing a home is no different. As the generation who came of age with the Internet as their prime tool for gathering information, Millennial home buyers are encouraged to buy a home based on the photos and listings they find online. It’s important for homebuilders to create a positive Internet presence such as ours, as well as engage in social media.

Unlike the more “DIY” Gen-X group, Millennials also actively reach out for advice, guidance and assistance when it comes to selecting their new home. They want experts in the field to be there at all points of the process to answer questions and provide information regarding their products. They’re more likely to meet with homebuilders several times before making their final decisions. Our team is dedicated to providing exceptional customer care at each stage of the home buying process, from the first contact to the time they look to us for another home to meet their needs.

Due to flat salaries and increased amounts of student loan debt, coming up with a down payment is quite a challenge. This leaves little cash in the account after closing, limiting the amount of changes Millennials want. This encourages them to buy homes that have the features they want right out of the gate. Some of these features include modern kitchens and bathrooms, smart home features, an open floor plan, a home office, a convenient family-friendly location and good Internet and cell service. Almost half of Millennials would rather buy a brand new house to avoid serious maintenance issues. At Ernest Homes, our exceptional, customizable floor plans and quality construction ensure that we’ll be able to meet these challenges with ease.

The financial dilemma of the down payment can also result in “generational homebuying” – where the parents of Millennial buyers are also involved in the final decisions. The Millennials will do the initial research and find the options that they’re willing to consider, but in some cases their parents will be contributing to the down payment, or even covering the entire amount. This brings another set of opinions and requirements into the equation. The homebuilder’s ability to interact successfully with both sets of buyers is often key to forging a strong relationship.

Studies show that only 11% of Millennials consider their first home to be the only one they’ll ever buy, so savvy home builders will know that these buyers will plan to sell their starter home and move into another residence at some point. 68% view their first home as a stepping stone to the home they really want and making improvements is not part of that plan. The average previous homeowner kept their “starter” home for ten years, while the oldest Millennials, on average, have only been keeping their first home for six years. By creating solid relationships with our customers, the team at Ernest Homes remains the perfect homebuilder of choice for our Millennial customers. As part of our family, we look forward to providing the ideal housing solution to our clients’ every need, both now and decades from now!

Taking Our Act on the Road–On Your Private Lot!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 17, 2019 | Comments Off on Taking Our Act on the Road–On Your Private Lot!

You’ve found the ideal lot, a gorgeous parcel of land in the Savannah, GA area. It has lovely trees, lush green grass and a view to die for – but you don’t know where to turn when you’re looking for a homebuilder to make your dream complete. None of your family or friends have a recommendation; they’ve all purchased existing homes. The local business councils and networking clubs haven’t given you the leads you wanted, and Googling endlessly leaves you dry-eyed and exhausted. You’re looking for the best builder around town, but the search is proving to be more difficult than you expected.

At Ernest Homes, we have a well-kept secret – but it’s time to spread the word! Our award-winning, highly respected building team can come to you! We’ll build one of our amazing homes on your land if your lot is within a 30 mile radius of Savannah, GA. It’s true – we have floor plans designed for families of any size, with amazing amenities such as bonus rooms, fireplaces, exquisite master suites, soaking tubs and roomy storage areas. And we’ll bring them right to you!

If you’re longing for a formal dining room or a breezy open floor plan, we’ve got suggestions. Do you crave a stylish yet functional kitchen that would be the envy of a TV chef? Try one of ours on for size! Are you dreaming of a “smart home” with energy-efficient appliances, in tune with the latest technology opportunities? Ask us about our latest options – we’ve got more than you can imagine. In fact, Ernest Homes can customize a home just for your family.  Our talented and experienced team can take your home from a vision in your mind to reality on your own lot.

You also have the services of our design studio, The Gallery at Ernest Homes. Our professional consultants not only make recommendations on the perfect finishing touches for your home, they can also help you customize your interior to the exterior. Once they’ve seen your surroundings, they can suggest design elements that not only flatter your home, but do justice to your own “great outdoors”.

With a projected build time of 12 weeks, an Ernest Home can be yours before you know it! We will build on your lot and have you home for the holidays. And don’t forget – we stand by our homes and offer superior customer care. Our quality control is exceptional, with 7 essential touch points during the construction process. You can learn more about them by visiting our interactive home and clicking on the number six. Then check out number eight – we even offer a complimentary caulking of your home to repair and refurbish any small imperfections after you’ve owned your home for a year!

The possibilities are almost endless – all you need is the perfect parcel of land and the professional team at Ernest Homes to create a home that is truly your own. If it’s time to build, it’s time to partner with Ernest Homes. Give us a call today at 912-756-4135, or send us a message by visiting the Contact Us page of our site. Your lot and our expertise is a match made in heaven – and on earth!

Amazon’s Best Buys for Your Home

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 13, 2019 | Comments Off on Amazon’s Best Buys for Your Home

Gadgets, geegaws and thing-a-majigs…sometimes you need things for your home that you may not even know that you need! The staff at Ernest Homes has collected some of our favorite “cool stuff” for your new home, all available on Amazon at bargain prices. Each piece is designed to make your life easier, less stressful – and maybe just a little more “hip”. Check them out for yourself!

The Pet Broom…and So Much More!

This is one of the easiest ways we know of to get rid of pet hair quickly and easily. And it’s great for cleaning multiple surfaces like rugs, drapes, tiles and even windows! A built-in squeegee edge and a telescopic handle make it easy to use.

Swivel Plug

If you find that you need extra outlets or a place for another USB cord, the swivel plug is the answer to all your problems. Run multiple devices on the same outlet for one low, low price.

Relief for Your Feet

Your home office needs one of these…especially if you have arthritis in your knees or feet, a nagging sports injury or if your ankles tend to swell if you sit all day.

Keep Things Moving…

With one of the most interesting bathroom gadgets ever! Satisfied customers swear by it – it’s a must for anyone looking for an easier path to daily duties! For extra efficiency, pair it with some Poo-Pourri and you’re ready to “go”!

Dim Those Electronic “Glows”

It’s easy to cover the annoying little lights on your electronics…make your rooms a little darker at night with these handy stickers!

Tired of Bathroom Clutter?

Keep your bath tidy with pockets…in your shower curtain! Instead of bulky shower caddies or inconvenient piles of products balanced on the corners of your tub, this unique idea saves tons of space!

Eggs-cellent Meal Options…in a Flash!

Breakfast – or any other time – is the time for eggs with this super-fast cooking tool. Full of handy features to make cooking eggs even easier, this tiny appliance will quickly become one of your favorite gadgets.

Keep Your Home Secure…

With this amazing all-in-one security device at an amazing price. If you have an Alexa, you can bump up your home security with this genius buy.

Reusable Straws

Be environmentally-friendly with these little steel beauties! Kids love them…and so do their parents!

Keurig Cool

If you prefer to grind your own coffee or use loose leaf teas, these spiffy mini-baskets for your Keurig make single cup convenience available to you!

Kid-Friendly, Mother-Approved

The ultimate warm-weather snack for kids…fish pops! (And they come in other shapes, too!)

Lunch in an Instant – Retro Style!

Get your hot dog on with this cool gizmo…lunch was never so quick and easy!

Toy? No, Mother’s Little Helper!

This is a mom’s dream…a child’s toy that actually helps clean your house! The mini Dyson Ball Vacuum isn’t just for fun – it does the job!

Sound the Alarm!

Does someone in your family have trouble getting up in the morning? If too many snoozes make mornings difficult at your house, welcome Clocky to your family…problem solved! This clock actually makes you get out of bed by running away from you when the alarm sounds. Chase him down to turn off the sound…works every time!

Let the Good Times Roll!

Always looking for a place in your bathroom to stash your back-up roll of TP? Here’s your answer!

Have a Ball!

Looking for handy ways to store athletic equipment? This handy holder takes care of football storage; also available for basketballs and soccer balls.

The Snake You Want in Your House

Looking for a safe, effective way to unclog your drains without harsh chemicals? Try this drain snake on for size…you’ll be hooked!

Put a Little Zip in Your Fridge!

Do snacks, lunches and bagged leftovers get lost in your fridge?  This handy tool keeps bagged food front and center, easy to spot, grab and go!

Forgot About Dinner?

Take steaks, chops or hamburger out of the freezer and be ready to eat in a snap! Defrost meat super-fast with this marvel – emergency carry-out not required!

Disco Shower!

Turn your shower into a nightclub – and it’s your choice of music with this unique speaker system accented with LED mood lights!

Keep Your House Cool – and Save on Air Conditioning!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 5, 2019 | Comments Off on Keep Your House Cool – and Save on Air Conditioning!

It’s definitely hot in the Savannah, GA area…no matter what the calendar says, summer is certainly here! With 100 plus degree days already under our belt, local residents are looking for ways to keep their homes (and themselves) cool without cranking up the A/C to record levels. At Ernest Homes, we’re right there with you – we’re using some of these handy tips to keep our homes more comfortable this summer.

Work Your Windows

One of the most direct paths to an overly warm home is your windows. According to Family Handyman, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat is delivered through your windows. Cut down on transfer of heat through sunlight by investing in insulated, tinted film for your south and west facing windows. You can also try stylish blinds, keeping them closed during the warmest parts of the day. Another great option is blackout drapes in a light neutral color. These curtains come in a wide variety of shades and their thick backings prevent sunlight from entering the room. You know how dark and cool most hotel rooms are, due to the use of blackout curtains. Adopting this trick in your rooms can save you a significant amount on your cooling bills. If you have windows that open from both the top and the bottom, create a cooling wind path by opening the top windows on the downwind side of your house and the bottom windows on the upwind side.

Sleep Smart

Adapting your sheets and bedcovers to summer weight cotton is a simple and inexpensive way to feel cooler at night. You can add a Chillow to your bed, or swap out your feather or poly-fill pillows for buckwheat pillows. This natural filling leaves plenty of air space between the hulls, allowing body heat to dissipate more easily. Another awesome trick…pop a water bottle into the freezer, and pull it out right before bed. Wrap it in a hand towel and place under your feet when you settle in for the night – you’ll be surprised how cool you’ll feel! You can even lightly mist your sheets with cold water from a spray bottle before climbing into bed, giving you a cool start to the night from head to foot. If you tend to wake up sweating in the middle of the night, try keeping a bucket or basin of water next to your bed while you sleep. Pop a few ice cubes into it, which will melt during the first couple hours of the night. Dipping your feet into cool water can give you a chance to cool down rapidly, allowing you to fall back to sleep. If the evening temperatures drop low enough overnight, open your windows to let in the night air instead of running the A/C.

Be Your Own Greatest Fan

Fans can really help reduce the inside temperature in your home. One of our favorite tricks is to place a bowl of ice or an ice pack in front of a fan, angling it toward the area you want to cool down. It works like a dream! You can set your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise, and at a higher speed. This creates an air current that will keep you cooler. Another option is to turn on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and your bathroom fans. These small but mighty wonders pull warm and/or moist air out of the rooms quickly.

Make Smart Cooking Choices

This is the time of year to create meals out of doors – grilling can not only provide tasty dining options, it will prevent your house from heating up from the use of stovetops or ovens. Another idea…crock pots! Throw it all in, plug it in, and serve heat-free meals hours later. What could be easier? It’s also easy to make cook-free dishes such as hearty salads, sandwiches and wraps.

Electric Ideas

If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, it may be time to change over to more efficient lighting sources, such as fluorescent bulbs. Old-school bulbs put off a much greater amount of heat, which can measurably increase the temperature in a room. It’s also smart to run household appliances such as washers and dryers during the cooler hours, as the heat they give off will make it harder to keep your home cool. Investing in a programmable thermostat may also help you make regulating the temperature in your home easier.

Make Your Own Organic Weed Killers!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: May 30, 2019 | Comments Off on Make Your Own Organic Weed Killers!

With recent news stories breaking about the dangerous effects of commercial chemical-based weed killers, more and more homeowners are looking for ways to control weeds without risking the health and well-being of their families and pets. Many are surprised to learn that several safe, effective weed killers are already in your pantry, garage or laundry room. A few quick, easy tricks and recipes are all that’s needed to rid your flower beds and lawns of some of nature’s most stubborn party-crashers. For best results, you should treat weeds during the warmest part of the day, and under strong sun.

White Distilled Vinegar

This common household staple is one of the most effective weed killers you can find. The active ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid, which is known for its ability to draw moisture out of whatever it touches. The white distilled vinegar commonly available in stores is typically 3-5% acetic acid. When you spray white vinegar directly on to your weeds, it pulls all above ground moisture from the plant. When used alone, it can effectively destroy young or weak weeds after a couple of applications. If you have tough to kill weeds, you can find vinegars with a higher acetic acid content of up to 1-20% at lawn and garden centers or home improvement stores.

Since vinegar will draw the moisture out of any plants, it’s important to use caution to spray it only on the weed itself. Use a spray bottle with a stream setting, rather than a mist setting that will spread the liquid to nearby desired plants or grasses.

You can also boost the effectiveness of vinegar as a weed killer by mixing it with other common household products. Try one of these recipes:

  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid dish soap (Blue Dawn tends to be the most effective.)

 

Or:

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Epsom salt

 

Rubbing Alcohol

Like vinegar, rubbing alcohol wicks the moisture from your weeds. Mix 2 tablespoons of alcohol with one quart of water into your spray bottle and spray directly onto weeds, being careful to avoid desired plants and grasses.

Ahem…NOT Rubbing Alcohol

Believe it or not, vodka and gin can also be used to control the growth of weeds. If you’re trying to eliminate broad-leaf weeds such as dandelions, chick weeds, wild onions, mullein and plantain weeds, pour straight vodka or gin into a stream-type spray bottle and douse your weeds carefully. Within a day or two, the burnt weeds can be gathered up and removed from the lawn, preventing reseeding.

Lemon Juice

Straight lemon juice is also a great way to destroy weeds when poured into your trusty spray bottle.

Sugar

Sugar is also a powerful weed killer. Sugar sends soil organisms into overdrive, making the soil temporarily inhospitable for plant growth. It’s best for use on weed trees, bushes or vines that are hard to remove. Heap sugar at the base of the plant you want to remove and let it sit for a few days. If the sugar starts to attract pests, add a generous amount of chili pepper to chase them away.

Removing Weeds and Unwelcome Grass from Cracks in Cement

Whether they grow in the spaces between your sidewalk stones or in fissures caused by broken concrete, you can easily destroy weeds or grasses with a couple of quick and easy remedies. Fill a teakettle with water, bring to a boil, and add a generous tablespoon or two of salt. Use the spout on the teakettle to aim the solution directly onto the weeds. Usually only one treatment is needed to eliminate the weeds. This idea will also work with baking soda used in place of the salt in your boiling water.

Today’s Headlines – Controlling Weed Growth in Larger Areas

If you find that larger areas of your yard or flower beds are inundated with weeds, it may be more practical to smother weeds with newspaper. This article shows you how to bring weed-choked areas back to life using newspaper and mulch.

Save Your Lawn – Naturally

If your weed problems extend into most of your lawn, don’t despair. There are organic solutions for grass as well.

One of the most effective options is corn gluten meal. There are a lot of reasons why this natural, organic product will help control weed growth AND promote growth of appropriate seeds. It suppresses the growth of the weed’s feeder roots and helps prevent the sprouting of crabgrass, dandelions, curly dock, knotweed, lamb’s quarters, pigweed and plantain. To learn about the advantages of gardening with corn gluten meal, read more here.

Get Ready for Hurricane Season!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: May 24, 2019 | Comments Off on Get Ready for Hurricane Season!

At Ernest Homes we know one of the most important things you can do for your family is to protect them when a big storm comes our way. Weather is always unpredictable, and a hurricane can strike at any time. By planning for an evacuation in advance, your family will have peace of mind and a greater sense of security.

Here are some simple steps for creating a hurricane evacuation plan that will help your family get through harsh weather. Once the plan is in place, be sure to post it where everyone can access it easily. Assign specific responsibilities to each person in your family and make sure that everyone knows what they need to do and where they should go in case of an emergency.

  1. Choose a safe meeting place outside of typical evacuation areas that everyone knows ahead of time, so everyone can find each other if they get separated. Family members may need to evacuate in separate vehicles, or may need to leave from different locations. Adult family members and older children should know how to get to this place, preferably by two or more different routes. Younger children should memorize the address of the meeting place, the name of the place or the name of the person you’ll be staying with, and the appropriate telephone number. A family emergency sheet like this one can help you organize your family for an evacuation.

 

  1. Prepare for limited communication. Telephone service and broadcast media may be compromised and service may be interrupted. For routine communication, text rather than call. Texting uses fewer resources and reduces the message traffic carried over the wireless network during high usage periods. Keep a car charger in every vehicle to ensure that devices stay charged. Store emergency numbers in your phone and keep up to date with weather apps and ongoing alerts. To protect your phone from water damage, store it in a zippered plastic bag (with all necessary accessories) when not in use. To ensure that you can receive any FM radio updates on the progress of the storm, visit http://freeradioonmyphone.org/ to learn how to use your smartphone as an FM radio receiver.

 

  1. Make arrangements for your pets. One capable family member should take charge of your animals. Get a travel kennel for each pet, and have enough dry food to last for several days and a gallon of fresh water ready to go at a moment’s notice. Cats should travel with a portable litter box such as a Jonny Cat Kat Kit. NEVER leave your pets unattended in an evacuated home! Make sure your designated meeting place will welcome your pets in an emergency. Many hotels are willing to waive their “No Pets” rules during times of evacuation, so call in advance to find one in your emergency location that will give your entire family shelter from the storm. You can also team up with friends and neighbors to form a safety network for unevacuated pets. If you can’t return home to claim your pet before evacuation is necessary, you’ll know that your “pet buddies” will protect your pet, and you will do the same for them.

 

  1. Keep important documents in a safe, accessible place. It’s also a great idea to snap pictures of these documents and upload them to a cloud-based storage system. Birth certificates, passports, identification, social security cards, copies of all prescriptions and other important documents should be readily available. You don’t want to waste precious time rounding up these items. Make sure copies of insurance policies are in your emergency packet, and that all insurances are up to date and cover your possessions adequately.

 

  1. Weatherproof your home before a storm threatens it. One option is to invest in storm shutters or wooden protectors cut to the size and shapes of your windows, so that they can be installed quickly. Another option is to purchase a supply of large cardboard sheets and electrical tape that can be used to protect exposed glass. While not as sturdy as wood, covering your windows with cardboard will provide some protection to items in your home that can be damaged by flying glass. Make sure all doors have sturdy deadbolts installed. Brace your garage door for extra support. Most think the roof is the most vulnerable part of their home during a storm, but it’s actually the garage door. Trim all trees to remove dead and questionable limbs that can cause damage if they fall. Remove unsecured items from your yard, such as outdoor furniture, trash cans, tools, toys, grills and lawn ornaments, moving them to your garage or a sturdy storage shed. Turn off as many utilities as you can before leaving your home.

 

  1. Prepare an evacuation kit to take with you – ahead of time! Spend a Saturday afternoon assembling the items recommended here. Use large, waterproof tubs with locking lids to store your supplies, which can be pre-packed and stored in a garage, shed, basement or spare room. Food suggestions can be found here and tips for managing your water needs are listed here. If it’s appropriate for your emergency evacuation location, pack some basic camping gear as well.

 

  1. Make sure your vehicle is in safe operating condition. Keep it in good repair and try to keep the tank at least half full at all times, in case a rapid evacuation is necessary. A great checklist for an emergency car kit is available here. Learn the best evacuation routes from your departure locations ahead of time.

 

  1. Don’t forget entertainment…you’ll probably have hours to fill! Simple board games, playing cards, books or puzzles can help both adults and children pass the time during an evacuation, and they don’t depend on television or devices.

 

  1. If you think you have enough batteries stored in your kit…think again and pick up some more. Useful for radios, flashlights, children’s games, clocks and other small packables, these essential items will be harder and harder to find once an approaching storm is announced.

 

  1. Don’t panic…keeping a cool head is the best way to get through a hurricane. Take a deep breath, follow your plan, and everything will be fine in the end.

DIY Interior Design–What’s Your Style Personality?

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: May 16, 2019 | Comments Off on DIY Interior Design–What’s Your Style Personality?

Welcome to your brand new home…room after room of empty space, just waiting to be filled! If you’re more than a little intimidated by this task, you’re not alone. Many new homeowners have cobbled together their interior design with hand-me-downs, sale items and one or two signature pieces that they love…even though they don’t go with anything else in their house. How do you define your style, so that you can build on those bits you love and junk the rest? Those pieces you’ve bought because you love them often indicate your direction in interior design. Read on…the team at Ernest Homes can point you in the right direction!

Functional and Practical

The less fuss, the better, as far as you’re concerned. Simplicity is the key here, with a limited palette of mostly neutral shades, clean lines, sturdy, durable fabrics and often a more minimalist viewpoint. You’re likely to vote for leather furniture, or pieces upholstered in dark solid colors that hide marks and stains. Easy care flooring and no-fuss window treatments are common, as are simple, graphic pieces of artwork and a notable lack of knick-knacks. Everything has a place, and usually everything is carefully placed there when not in use. You’re direct, no-nonsense, usually always on time and rarely forget important dates and engagements.

Traditionalist

Look for four-poster or sleigh beds, formal dining rooms with china cabinets, tapestry prints on the sofas, and comfy tufted chairs that would be right at home in a turn-of-the-century men’s dinner club. Neutral walls are made colorful with landscape prints, hunt scene paintings and portraits of way-back relatives (real or imagined) in dark wood frames. Take afternoon tea in the study, complete with a ticking grandfather clock and at least a couple hundred books. You’re conservative, polite to a fault, respectful of others and sometimes a little reserved. You’re also loyal, reliable and always ready to help in any way you can.

Slick and Modern

Glass, steel, white…and did I mention glass and steel? Your décor is full of angles, track lighting, hanging light fixtures, stark modern art and tall, thin sculptures in silver, white or black that don’t always appear to be the same thing to different people. An overall lack of color makes an occasional splash of blue, violet or orange all the more shocking. You’re edgy, cool, fashionable and up on the latest trends, whether they be in technology, literature, art or…interior design. You’re the one at the table everyone goes to for advice.

Retro Is the Way to Go

An aqua metal breadbox and push button blender, Andy Warhol reproductions, shag carpeting, paneling…or maybe even the large, round papasan chair in your living room gives you a clue that your nostalgic streak takes over when you decorate. Bright 70’s colors and patterns, retro appliances, bead curtains…anything goes! Don’t be surprised if pieces from different decades blend (and clash!) beautifully in your home. You’re fun-loving, enthusiastic and relentlessly social. While sometimes a little scattered or forgetful, you always have everyone’s best interests at heart. You’re the friend everyone calls when they’re feeling a little down and need a boost.

Artful and Creative

In your home, color is almost furniture – it’s so striking and exciting! The art on display is provocative, inspiring and the focal point of your home, relegating your serviceable, unexceptional furniture to a far second place. It’s often a mixture of styles and colors that blend, but aren’t part of an actual set. Look for mismatched dining chairs and tableware, lots of plants, throw pillows and vibrant area rugs. Flighty, charming and imaginative, you’re the center of every conversation. You’re fearless, brave, flexible and fluid…sometimes to the point of being a bit zany and outlandish. And your closet…that’s another post entirely!

Do you recognize yourself among these types of do-it-yourself interior designers? Or perhaps you have a household of mixed types? Are you the traditional one, with a creative daughter and a practical son? You may want to allow each person to take the reins and decorate their own room as they please, adding elements of their design type to create a nest of their own where they can feel completely comfortable. Common areas can mix elements here and there – try a practical sofa, a creative area rug, modern coffee tables and retro chairs flanking a traditional bookcase.

And don’t forget – if you try it and don’t like it, you can sell it, donate it or paint it…start over. The best thing about your new home is that it’s yours, and you can change it as often as you like!

Choose the Right Community for Your Family

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: May 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Choose the Right Community for Your Family

The most important decision you make when buying new construction isn’t the house you will choose; it’s selecting the community where it will be built. It’s easy to be taken in by the “perfect” floor plan or the “ideal” size of a new home, but it’s crucial to carefully examine the surroundings before deciding to move ahead with your purchase. A community offers many different types of residences, but the neighborhood needs to be a great fit if your family is going to be happy where you choose to live.

As the premier homebuilders in the Savannah, GA area, Ernest Homes knows exactly what you need to consider when choosing the community where you’ll make your home. Here’s some of the topics you’ll need to cover:

Quality Education

Whether it’s highly rated public schools or exclusive private schools, charter schools or an outstanding homeschooling network, make sure that the options nearby will give your children the type of education you want. If you’re choosing a school that requires tuition fees, make sure they’ll be a reasonable part of your budget before signing a contract for your new home.

Community Infrastructure

Mission critical – research the quality of the services provided by police, fire, local hospitals and other emergency services before making a final decision about relocating your family. You need to be sure that if you need help, trained professionals will be readily available.

Ready Access to Amenities

Most families prefer to have quality shopping, entertainment and recreational options close to home. If you’re looking for a “deep country” lifestyle, you probably won’t mind driving a half hour or more to take care of daily errands and stock up on necessary supplies. However, many families (especially those with small children or elderly relatives living with them) don’t have the bandwidth in their day for lengthy commutes to essential products and services.

Green Space to Grow

Why did the suburbs become so popular after World War Two? The simple answer – green space. Thousands and thousands of city dwellers discovered the joy of lawns, swing sets, backyard barbeques, swimming pools and flower beds. Getting the amount of breathing room you and your family need is one of the ways to make sure the community you select is the right one for you.

Privacy is Paramount

Are you the sort of family that wants to get deeply involved with your community, making a ton of friends and packing your schedule with social events? Or does your clan tend to keep to themselves, with a few trusted friends and a lot of private time? Get a feel for the community and it’s personality before you move in; you’ll want to choose a place that respects your personal need for space.

Take a Bite Out of Crime

It’s always a good idea to get an idea of the types of crimes common in areas near your prospective new home, and how many incidences are reported, on average. It’s also important to check trends – is crime on the rise or has it been decreasing? Many communities also have active neighborhood watch programs, so make sure you ask about a community’s level of local involvement before you take the plunge. Many communities that spring up around new construction are safe, low-crime zones.

Interview a Few Neighbors

Take a few walks around the community (at different times of the day) and interview a few of the people who might become your neighbors. You can get an idea if the “personality” of the residents will mesh with your own, and how they feel about life in their hometown. You can also check out how well the other homeowners take care of their properties. The value of your home is closely linked to the visual quality of the neighborhood as a whole.

And last but not least –

Look to Fill a Current Void

Sit down with a pen and paper and think about what your current community lacks that you’d like to experience in your next choice of a home base.  Once you’ve made the list, rank the issues in order from most important to least important. This may help you choose which community will meet more of your family’s needs in a more objective fashion.

Moving Day–Keep Your New Home Damage Free!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 30, 2019 | Comments Off on Moving Day–Keep Your New Home Damage Free!

Nothing is more thrilling than settling in to your brand new home – we know you’re getting really excited! The long homebuying process is almost done, and you can’t wait to show off your new place to everyone you know. Now you’re facing the last hurdle before the housewarming…keeping your new home damage-free on moving day! Up to this point, you may have focused most of your planning and preparation for your move on the items you’ll be transporting, but now it’s time to give some TLC to your new surroundings. The experts at Ernest Homes have some sure-fire tips for preventing damage to your new home on your big day.

Set Up Your Strategy

Before you begin, make sure you have a detailed plan of attack. You’ve probably packed your belongings based on what room they’re in, and this a great start. You’ll minimize trips into and out of the house if you’re focusing on one area at a time. It’s usually best to start at the rear of the house and move forward. You’ll be more efficient and use fewer steps if you avoid backtracking. Fewer trips through the house reduces the passes through hallways, doorways and up and down stairs, leaving fewer opportunities for nicks and scrapes to walls and decorative entryways.

Make sure to measure!

Check all doorways, flights of stairs and other constricted places before you begin to make sure items will fit through them successfully without damaging the entryways.

Cover Your Floors

To prevent gouges, scuffs, cracks and rips, protect your hardwood, laminate, tile or rugs with sheets of thin plywood, drop cloths, carpet protectors, floor mats, or collapsed cardboard boxes. Make sure special attention is paid to high-traffic areas such as entryways and walk-through multi-purpose rooms. Before moving furniture into your new home, place felt pads on the legs of your pieces, and use moving blankets or flattened cardboard boxes to “scoot” the furniture from place to place safely. If it’s raining on moving day, make sure you have a welcome mat handy. This essential item means that less water, dirt and mud makes its way into your house with each trip. And don’t forget to cover the stairs – just make sure your covering material is securely anchored to your surface to avoid slipping.

Watch Your Railings!

Wrap your banisters and railings with bubble wrap, or drape and secure mover’s blankets over them. You can even use your essential collapsed cardboard boxes – just use your painter’s tape to secure the edges at the bottom of the railing after placing the box crease on the banister and flattening the cardboard downward. For thin railings, invest in a supply of swimming pool noodles. Cut them in half lengthwise and tape them to the railings to protect the finish.

 

Don’t Use Your Furniture as a Weapon

Unwrapped furniture is the single largest cause of gouged, nicked and scraped walls and flooring. Make sure to wrap pieces securely in mover’s blankets, large towels, layers of old sheets (for smaller items) or even bubble wrap to protect your new home. Use a dolly or hand cart to help you move heavy, bulky or unwieldy pieces of furniture. If a piece of furniture can be taken apart, or if the legs can be removed, disassemble before moving, making sure to keep all the pieces together during transport. The smaller a piece of furniture can become, the easier it is to move. You can even stack wrapped pieces of furniture on top of each other to allow for more open space during your move, as shown here.

Don’t Cut Corners!

Corner areas are particularly prone to nicks, scrapes and gouges. Use the creased section of a flattened cardboard packing box to cover large areas or corner space, tacking it in place with a few strips of painter’s tape, which won’t damage your walls. You can also purchase less bulky options such as these and tack them with painter’s tape as well. And don’t forget your pool noodles – the sliced foam can also be tacked to the corner, one on each side.

Wall Savvy

Lightweight blankets, towels, or our old friends the collapsed cardboard boxes can provide extra cushioning for at risk walls when mounted with painter’s tape.

And a final word of caution…

As much as we love small children and pets, it’s better to keep everyone safe on moving day by boarding your pet or getting a sitter, or assigning one “mover” to keep kids entertained outside, away from all the activity. Trip and fall accidents, dropped furniture or “squish or squash” injuries can have lasting consequences. At Ernest Homes, safety is always our primary goal!

House Plants that Purify Your Air

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 23, 2019 | Comments Off on House Plants that Purify Your Air

Looking for a natural, beautiful way to improve the air quality of your new home? Believe it or not, there are a number of common houseplants that not only provide lush, lovely green treats for they eye, they also make your air cleaner, healthier and sweeter to breathe. All plants use the process of photosynthesis to release oxygen into the air, but some plants have their own unique air filtering systems that can improve the quality of the air we breathe. According to a 1989 NASA study, some are even blessed with the ability to remove carcinogenic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from the air as well.

It’s also widely believed that green, growing things can reduce stress and lift your spirits as well. Who are we to disagree? Check out some of these gorgeous specimens – you’ll love the results!

Boston Fern

According to a 2010 study done by the American Society of Horticultural Science, these popular ferns removed more airborne formaldehyde from the atmosphere than any other plant. These popular plants require a bit of care; they need to be fed regularly to thrive, and if your home tends to have lower humidity and moisture levels, you may need to mist their leaves every couple of days.

Palms

Bamboo and Lady Palms also get high scores for air purification, removing formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, ammonia and chloroform from the air. Even though they are typically considered to be warm weather plants, indoor palms prefer slightly lower temperatures. They usually like it to be between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit; perfect for indoor living.

Rubber Plants and Janet Craigs

If you have dimmer, darker rooms that don’t get much natural sunlight, these plants are the perfect fit! They will grow more slowly because of the lower light levels, but they’re attractive, deep green plants that help eliminate carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene beautifully.

English Ivy

This crawling, climbing plant has the ability to thrive both indoors and outdoors. As an indoor plant, it can decorate vertically on an indoor pot trellis or cascade in lush waterfalls from hanging planters. Less finicky than the Boston ferns, it thrives with less water and a mix of sun and shade daily, and provides relief from benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

Peace Lily

If you don’t have pets or small children, this exotic, indoor blooming plant is easy to care for and one of the most attractive options on the list. It does have poisonous leaves, so it’s best to limit its use to adult households or those with older children. It prefers shade to full sun, and has a high transpiration rate that will humidify your air more rapidly than most plants. Enjoy reduced exposure to formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia with peace lilies.

Florist’s Mums and Gerbera Daisies

If you love to keep a cooler home, these pretty plants are for you! They prefer a temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive, and do require regular feeding and watering. If you love to care for plants, they are among the best at removing formaldehyde from your air.

Golden Pothos

If you don’t have the greenest thumb, this little beauty is for you! Tough, hardy and almost impossible to kill, this plant can handle everything from overwatering to neglect. If you’re a novice gardener, or one that tends to forget the basics, start with one of these efficient air purifiers – brought to you by Mother Nature. You can reduce the levels of formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide in your air.

Spider Plants

One of the most common houseplants in America, these spiky, spiny favorites are easy to grow. A little water two or three times a week and you’re set. You can expect reduced levels of formaldehyde and xylene in your home when you invite one of over 200 varieties of these plants into your home.

Snake Plants

Also known as mother in law’s tongues, these stiff-leaved plants have an unusual talent; they exchange their carbon dioxide for oxygen at night rather than during the daytime, on an opposite schedule from other plants. This makes them ideal bedside plants; you’ll get an extra boost of oxygen while you sleep. They also help cleanse the air of formaldehyde and benzene.

Red-Edged Dracaena

This slow-growing plant with distinctive reddish-purple edged leaves can become quite tall, sometimes topping 15 feet. Best grown in a large pot in a high-ceilinged room, this shrub is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. It loves a space with moderate sunlight. If you’re looking for a smaller dracaena plant, other varieties are available that reach a more modest size.

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